Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A New Goal: I Hope It Sticks

I was reading my email today when I came across an interesting foot race call the 100mile Burning River race run in Cleveland. So I checked it out and then, quickly ruled it out. It's a trail race which means you need maps. So you see, even though I'm over 100 pounds overweight it's the distance that worries me it's the fact there is not a clearly marked trail to do anything. But it's in Cleveland. And it's a year away. And it's closer than the 50 mile Tatur race in Oklahoma, so what's a girl to do? Why get a gym membership and start training of course.

Right now, as I write this blog I'm praying that I find another race close by this crazy. Of course, because of the medication I take I have to factor in many things. Temperature, time of year, learning to fuel my body for that kind of distance without puking, falling asleep, or missing the cut off time.

I've run a marathon before. And by the end of it I was in agony. But something crazy happens to you when you do something like that, you go through highs, you go through lows, and when you finish it there's just this feeling of utter spiritual transformation which alters your world and life view. At least, that's what happened to me.

In fact I'm looking at doing a marathon in January, the Walt Disney World Marathon if there is still room instead of an Ultra. There are more to choose from, are supported and can be found at all times of the year. As a matter of fact I think I will do that one. I will be sure to take lots of pictures and keep you up to date on this little adventure of mine. I will be sure to consult my doctors whom I hope are more helpful this time.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

No Ordinary Love Chapter One

Chapter One
He saw her curled up unconscious and in the fetal position in his driveway as he came home from a night of drinking with a local girl in his car. Scott stepped out of his car and walked up to the young woman lay there, motionless, daring him to approach her. He had a past. An ugly one. One that he wanted to forget. One he tried to drown at Luke’s bar every night, and pretended the girl he took home to him was someone else. But in the morning he always had a hangover and the girl was never enchanting or beautiful as the one from his past had been. But he knew this girl crumpled up and trapped in his headlines. He brushed the hair back from her face. Her eye was blacked out, her cheek was turning purple, and her lower lip was split and bleeding. Alyssa Daniels was in trouble and it was the ultimate irony that she had ended up at his feet and not someone else’s.
He looked back at the car and stared at the woman he had brought home with, she would have to be dealt with, but he had to get Alyssa inside first. Scooping her up he carried up his porch steps and let himself in. He laid her on the couch in the livingroom, scribbled a note and left it with one of his handguns with strict instructions to only trust him until he knew what was going on. He then returned to his sometime lover, Rita and got back in the car and said, “I’m sorry Rita, but not tonight. I’ll give you a ride home.”
“Who was that?”
“An acquaintance.”
“People don’t just sweep their acquaintances into the house and take their guest home for the night.”
Rita could turn into a real complication. He knew how to be a charmer when he needed to be but it was late, he was wired, and been turned sober by seeing a relatively innocent woman savagely beaten and collapsed in his driveway. God knew he’d seen much, much worse but he remembered a woman who’d been split down the middle. A cold blooded killer on a mission on the one hand and a tortured conscience on the other. What she did ate her alive and had almost destroyed her. Ariel Stuart was now Ariel Stuart Ramsey and had been for seven years now with two adopted children and one child from Stone Ramsey.
He had to be careful or thoughts of his life with her could consume him. He turned that part of himself off. And turned the part of him on that needed to assist Alyssa Daniels.
“Rita, last time I checked we were a sometime thing. Nothing…permanent. So I need you to act like an adult and deal with the fact I’m taking you home.”
“Frank will kill us both.”
“Would you prefer a Taxi from the bar?”
She sighed. “I suppose. I guess I’ll have to settle for one of the other boys at the bar.”
They pulled to a stop in front of the bar on the edge of town and and he let her out. Rita kissed him and touched her lips.
“Why do I get the feeling you’re never going to seek me out again?”
Rita was always saying shit like that, but this time he had a strange feeling she might be on to something.
“You worry too much. Now go have a good time without me. You do still know how to do that without me don’t you?”
Rita flipped him off and headed on inside Luke’s. He laughed and headed back home. On the way there his thoughts returned to the woman who had haunted him since he’d saved her life. Ariel.
Ariel Stuart was a complicated woman. They had been lovers as teens. Each other’s first loves. But when she had told him what she planned to do with her life it had offended him that he was not enough for her. That she needed to track down these killers. Eventually they had parted ways and he’d moved on to his wife Kendra, and their soon to be born daughter.
But fate intervened, taking them from him, leaving him angry and bitter at having lost everything that had ever mattered to him. Driving him to become was Ariel’s past had down to her, a hired gun, a hitman who cost a lot of money. He had crossed paths with Ariel again, however, and the fact they had survived at all was because he could not kill her as his boss wished, and Stone did not kill him as she had begged Stone not to.
A mess which had driven him into a mental health facility for seven years. He was driven mad for a time by thoughts of Ariel and Stone together and to be honest, the thoughts still nauseated him at times like these.
He sighed as his home came into view. A simple country, brick home with a wrap around porch and tire swing on the large tree in his front yard from the people whom had owned it before him. Now his thoughts turned from Ariel, to the victimized young woman in his livingroom, Alyssa Daniels.
He knew Alyssa as a sweet, kind, soft spoken neighbor who was always willing to help him out when he needed it. She was terrified of dogs but she would dogsit for him. Of his Corgi was positively friendly once you got to know her. Her name was Spunky. She’d been a stray, pregnant pup who’d wandered onto his property. He’d had to have her pregnancy aborted. If she had given birth it would have killed her. But Alyssa would cook him meals when he was sick. Discuss music like someone who knew what she was talking about. She was always reading and every now and again she would be writing. But every now and again she would show up with a malady or injury. It didn’t take a detective to figure out someone close to her was abusing her and that his place was her place to escape to. But she never said who it was, nor she ever elaborate on how she got hurt. He had worried that one day she would end up dead. Now she was unconscious, she had managed to escape, but where was her abuser now? And who were they? He could nurse her back to health but he feared if he sent her back into the fray she would end up dead for sure this time.
He unlocked the door and walked into a gunfire situation. She just kept pulling the trigger and bullets were pinging off of everything, except, somehow, him.
“Hey!” he shouted, “Hey! Hold your fire! It’s me, it’s Scott. I found you collapsed outside in my yard.”
The bullets stopped and she kept pulling the trigger until the gun jammed and she dropped it to the floor intermentedly wheezing and and shuddering soft sobs. Her lungs. He would have to get her to a hospital, but not in Grant, KY. Her father was the sheriff. And whether it was his past experiences or a gut instinct telling him not to he would never know.
“This is going to hurt like hell, and I’m sorry for it, but I’ve got to get you help.”
“Don’t take me to the hospital. He’ll find me there.”
“Who’ll find you there?”
She coughed and blood sprayed out of her mouth. There wasn’t time, he would rush her to Littleton, Indiana. It wasn’t as far away as one might think. He just prayed there was a cut in her mouth and that wasn’t from her lungs.
He picked her up and carried him to his car and sat her in the passenger’s seat, buckling her up. Hopping in the driver’s seat of his 2011 Dodge Charger, he revved the engine and pealed out of his driveway.
Alyssa continued to cry. “Thank you,” she said coughing into her hand, when she pulled it back there was a fine mist of blood on it. He saw the fear on her face, and even though it wasn’t in his nature to he took her hand and gave her a comforting smile.
“It’s going to be okay.”
She gripped his hand tightly. He knew if he got to the hospital too late she might be in for a rougher night than she already had been. He hoped though, that that would not be the case.
He’d sat up all night waiting for Alyssa to come out of surgery. He’d nursed four tall cups of horrible hospital coffee. He never once complained. He never once asked to see her and he never once bothered the nurses although several of them had come up to him asking for his number while slipping him there’s. Ah, had this been a different night, a different situation, a different person struggling to breathe and live he might have taken one or two of them up on their offers. But it was Alyssa in there and she needed someone on her side. And for some reason, the daughter of the town sheriff had come to him and not her dad. Then finally, the surgeon emerged and came towards him with a stern look on his face.
“Mr. Daniels, I don’t know who or what caused those injuries but it always pisses me off when I see them. You could have killed that girl and instead of taking her to the hospital in Grant you brought her here, risking her life--,” the surgeon stopped cold when Scott took his hand and balled the doctor’s shirt in it.
“Now you, listen to me. I am of no relation to that girl other than she is a very dear friend whom I found collapsed in my driveway tonight when I got home. Her father is a powerful man, and I suspect she’s more afraid of him than she is of anyone else. And it angers me for more than you could possibly imagine to know someone laid their hands on her. All I want to know is how she is, and can I see her?”
The doctor was a little older than him, Scott could tell that by the look on his face and the lines around his mouth. He was a smoker too. Doctors who smoked, the ultimate in hypocrisy. Then he himself smoked so who was he to judge on that front?
“Let go of me or I will be forced to call security.”
“How is she?”
“Let go of me, or I will be forced to call her father.”
He released the surgeon and eyed him suspiciously. “Have you already called him?”
The surgeon stood there grim faced and stony in expression. “Against my better judgment no. She’s begged me not to. But given her injuries, two broken ribs, a ruptured spleen, a sprained wrist, a fractured tailbone, a fractured cheekbone, internal bleeding, contusions, bruises, cuts, and scrapes, I should have you thrown from the premises.”
“And why aren’t you?”
“Because she’s asking for you as if you’re some sort of hero who can protect her.”
“Then why don’t you believe her?”
“Because I like her father and don’t think he would ever harm his daughter this way. She’s in room 655. It’s the most private and secure room in the hospital. Just give me an excuse Mr. Jackson and I’ll make you sorry you ever messed with her or me.”
“Right. I’ll be sure to keep that in mind.” Scott was sure that doctor was heading to call Sheriff Daniels now. He rushed to room 655 as fast as he could.

Ignorance And Mistreatment

Hi there, it's me again. I'm back for my daily rant. And today I'm spewing my well earned venom on the American public.

I am not a leech. I do not mooch off the government. I am not spending 'your' tax dollars. The Disability check I receive is based soley upon what I, let me repeat that, what I paid into the system. Now, that check is something of a joke, but it's better than nothing and it's based on dollars I paid into the system.

I do not drink alcohol. I do not smoke cigarettes of any kind. Not that I care if you do. That's your business, not mine. And I do not use illegal drugs nor do I abuse prescription drugs. I pay my bills. I live on my own (well, with a roomie), and I don't bother anybody. So when I hear some stupid, ignorant, asinine human being going off about how people with mental illnesses are just lazy assholes who are spending their hard earned tax dollars I want to scream.

I work hard at what I do. I'm a writer, a novelist, and an independent filmmaker. I've had books published short films made some by me. Maybe I'm not rich and famous but damn it I'm a productive member of society and I'm sick of being mistreated because when people hear the words bipolar disorder they see a catching disease that they neither understand nor seem to want to understand. And as a result they say stupid, ignorant, hurtful things which wound and scar people with their capriciousness.

Hey, I'm all for taking the tools and building a life for yourself but you have to be given the tools for crying out loud. And a little compassion goes a long fucking way people. I didn't ask for this diagnosis. I was just blessed with it. So try today and show someone whom you might otherwise show a bitter caustic attitude towards today, and give them a few encouraging words. Believe me on days like today they can go a long way.

Monday, August 2, 2010

So Angry I Want To Scream

I’d like to call this little rant which follows When The Doctors Don’t Listen—and Nobody Cares, because this past week was one of the hardest I’ve faced in six years and I haven’t been this off my rocker since they placed me on medication eleven years ago. For those of you who don’t know what bipolar disorder is, or think it is something that we 5.7 million Americans with this disorder use as an excuse to not just, ‘pull ourselves up by our bootstraps’ and just ‘get over it’ you could be on the receiving end of a really nasty confrontation if or when the meds don’t work, we’re taken off the meds, or because of the stigma surrounding our illness choose not to take them at all.

For the last ten years I have been on Depakote ER(for those who are not studied in the field ER does not stand for emergency room, although ironically it could, but in this case it stands for extended release. The medicine slowly releases itself over a long period allowing for one dose to be taken at one time.) what is the point of me telling you this? I was recently weaned off of it and it resulted in six years of stabilization being undone in a seven DAY period. It was something I was not necessarily prepared for and neither was my roommate and best friend of fourteen years.

One of the terms they use for a symptom of bipolar disorder is ‘irritability’. Such a benign little word for the actually fucking result of being manic. I think the word should be ‘volatile’ or the phrase ‘disturb at your own risk’. Because when I am unstable I can go from zero to rage in under sixty seconds and even the term ‘rain all over your parade’ will feel more like a severe thunderstorm capable of producing high winds up to fucking fast for you to deal with.

So my first real test came in line at Kroger’s Pharmacy Drive-Thru. Now, I’d been told by my doctor my medicines would all be between four and five dollars. I was getting Verapamil, a high blood pressure medication (anyone else see the irony in this?) which also could be used as a mood stabilizing agent. And I wanted desperately to get my what would soon become my very manic hands on it. Then, the trigger, the match head dropping into the waiting gasoline, sticker shock. The cost for my medications--$63 and change. Then the ‘irritability’, and that poor pharamcy assistant, she became the target of my ‘irritability’. How much would the Verapamil be? $36. Well fuck me. Thank God Missy was in the car driving. I could have caused a wreck. I spent a lion’s share of the very little money I had earmarked for bills on that medicine.

We pulled off I opened the bag, and the WRONG FUCKING MEDICINE WAS IN THERE. I growled, the demon was loose, “Turn the fucking car around.” We loop around and go back through the drive thru. By this point I’m on the phone with my mother and and every other word out of my mouth was fuck this stupid bitch, that stupid bitch of a doctor. My mother, god bless her, she was trying to reason with me, but I wasn’t hearing a goddamn word coming out of her mouth. It all made sense, but when I’m like that I just can’t be reasoned with.

I get home. I take my medicine. And I decide. I’m calling the doctor in the morning. My psychiatrist, Dr. Rebeck, he’s a wonderful doctor. Unfortunately when I called, he wasn’t there. I got the ‘on-call therapist’. Now, there’s a different ‘on-call therapist’ depending on who the therapist on vacation is. It just so happened, my therapist, a wonderful lady was ON VACATION. So I was presented with someone who couldn’t find her ass with both hands and told me I would just have to hang on until Monday. Just hang on? Just hang on? Hang on what? That rope I was hoping I didn’t come to the end of? The rope that was pulled so taught and was fraying so badly that it snap at any moment? Then she had the nerve to ask, you don’t feel like I’m abandoning you do you? WTF? That’s exactly how I felt.

Three more days of this shit and I was either going to hurt someone or hurt myself. I was swinging high which meant a blow-up was coming. I hung up with that incompetent bitch and proceeded to get into a long, drawn out, vicious, nasty, cutting argument with my roommate right before she went to work.

Which climaxed with her saying something incredibly hurtful and untrue and me screaming incoherently and out of control at her until I was a sobbing mess and she had to leave, leaving me ALONE to deal with this shit. Yeah, bipolar disorder, the gift that keeps on giving.

I tried to call my case manager. She wasn’t in. I called my sister Brandy. Who was concerned enough to call Mom, but who was too busy with her boyfriend to bother calling me back. Sara eventually made me cry all over again (to her credit she helped make it possible for me to get out of the house and Missy let me use her car to go have lunch and meet with another friend and go writing). Pam, another writer and friend of mine really came through for me on Friday. I managed to cope through Satuday and finally Saturday night I broke down and took two depakote er 500 milligram tablets and was able to limp to sleep. I took two more Sunday night and that was only after Missy and I had another argument, which twenty-four hours later I’m still getting worked up over. See that ‘by your bootstraps’ bullshit doesn’t work where it comes to bipolar disorder. It just doesn’t.

By Sunday night I was so messed up again I called the Crisis hotline and that fucking genius told me I needed to just ‘get through it’ and blew me off. I’m telling you the mental health resources in this state basically suck a big donkey penis.

Another wonderful symptom of what I live through is paranoia. I was getting out of bed five, six times a night convinced someone was in my apartment and trying to get me and Missy. So what’s that tell you?

Finally, this morning, blissful wonderful, Monday morning I get Sara on the phone at Seven Counties and they get me into see Dr. Rebeck, he puts me back on Depakote ER. Finally maybe I can get some peace of mind and get back to do what I do best. Write. Write. Write. And write some more.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A New Direction

I find myself viewing the publishing landscape and finding a hard truth staring right back at me, I still want to be a published author, yet, the print contracts seem to be drying up and even when you do get one you have to do all the marketing work.

Now don't get me wrong, there is something invariably inviting about the smell of coffee and books. And I think there will always be books to hold. But there is nothing wrong with an e-book for which you get a huge royalty just to be listed on Amazon through Kindle. And self-publishing isn't something that should be entered into lightly. It takes a certain kind of spirit to do it and want it that way--I'm not saying I don't want a print contract, I think every writer does, it's just that I do better this way. On the phone, at the desk, running things my way.

I hate sharing, I hate being told what to do, and I feel like if I can do independent film (the scripts are much better than the overall product sometimes, but that's true with any venture), I can do publishing which I'm much more comfortable doing. Writing may be art, but publishing is a business and I have a plan and all this standing around and wringing of hands at age 35 (although youngsters, as my dad told me recently, daughter 'o mine you ARE young), when things are moving so fast is for the birds.

I think everyone has a little bit of a Maverick in them. The first title from my digital imprint available on Amazon's Kindle in every format available I believe, should I find out differently you'll be the first to hear about it, is ANOTHER WAY TO DIE. It will be priced at $.99.

More on Another Way To Die in tomorrow's post for more exciting details for launch party and interview with the author, moi. Have a great day and as my friend author, artist, and photographer Elise VanCise would say, Happy Scribbles. Or as Pam, another friend/author/painter/photographer/filmmaker would say, grrr, leave me alone:-).

Follow me, Amy McCorkle on Twitter at @WhenDovesCryAA Pamela at @PamelaTurner and Elise at @EliseVanCise. Some others you may want to check out are @RoseWade and my partner in crime Missy Goodman @goodleigh2275.

Friday, May 7, 2010

May 7th, 2010

Funny how the month can zip by I've already knocked out a little over 5,000 words and I didn't start this until around mid-week. The word wars have helped me immensely. Next Friday night I'll be occupied by my Australian boyfriend aka Russell Crowe as Robin Hood LOL so I'll have to get my work done during the day. And I've found today difficult to concentrate on anything because of the weather headed our way. We have several flooded counties in Kentucky and Nashville is in DIRE need of help, so if you can donate in any way that you can. For now that is all. My goal is to have written 1667 words by the time I go to bed in the AM tonight.